“The Neighborly Thing to Do”: Off-Duty Firefighter Clears Fallen Tree When City Wouldn't

He's a "hero" to residents of LA's Larchmont Village.

The city of LA wouldn't remove a fallen 40-foot tree blocking 2nd Street near Larchmont Village, so off-duty U.S. Forest Service firefighter John King stepped in and did it himself.

Larchmont residents like Joni Weyl had been calling the city since Friday morning to remove the giant pine tree, which was downed during last week's heavy rains (as seen in the video below). There have been several near misses of cars hitting the giant tree, which was hard to see at night. The city wouldn't tell residents when its workers would get around to doing the job.

So King got in his pickup truck and drove in with his chainsaw. He cut the tree into pieces, then hauled it out of the street.

"I figure it's the neighborly thing to do," King told NBC4. "It's a traffic hazard."

King, who works with the Forest Service's "Bear Divide Hotshots" firefighting team in Santa Clarita, got a call from his mother who lives near Larchmont, telling him of the 40-foot hazard.

Neighbors say the tree came crashing down about 3 a.m. Friday during a heavy downpour. It created such a traffic hazard that the city sent Parking Enforcement officers Friday to direct traffic around the giant fallen tree, but over the weekend the officers were gone, with just two safety cones to warn oncoming cars.

It took King just 30 minutes of chopping to remove the hazard.

"I think he's a hero to come out and do this on a Sunday," Weyl said. "I think he went above and beyond."

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